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Buy cheap Avios points with Tesco Fuel Save

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Earlier this week, Tesco launched its latest promotion – Fuel Save.

It is new scheme which offers you discounts on Tesco Petrol based on how much you spend in the store.  Effectively, for every £50 (cumulative, does not need to be in one transaction) you spend in Tesco each month, you will be credited with a 2p fuel credit.

The credit is valid for the rest of the current and the following month, on one petrol transaction at a Tesco garage.  The maximum discount you can obtain is 20p per litre.

Since 3V Virtual Visa cards stopped being accepted for financial services transactions, they have become a lot less attractive.  However, many Tesco stores still sell £50 Visa gift cards.

These £50 gift cards carry a fee of £3.95.  However, unlike 3V cards, you can redeem these for financial services transactions.  This means that you can pay them into a National Savings account, against your council tax or against any Inland Revenue bill.  Effectively, it easy to get your £50 ‘out’.

Tesco is still giving 150 bonus Clubcard points for every £50 you spend on gift cards.

Assuming you own a car which you fill up with 60 litres at a time, this is how the maths would work:

For every £50 of £3.95-fee £50 Visa gift cards you buy, up to £500-worth per month, it looks like this:

Money spent on card fee:  £3.95

Avios earned from 150 bonus Clubcard points:  (150 x 2.4 =) 360 Avios

Amex points earned on an Amex Gold charge card at 2 points per £1 for supermarket spend:  106 = 106 Avios

Fuel saving of 2p per litre x 60 litres:  £1.20

Your total net cost is therefore £2.75 for 466 Avios, or 0.59p per Avios point. 

Remember that you can scale this up to £500 per month (ie 20p off per litre of petrol) which would mean 4,660 Avios per month at 0.59p.  Fuel Save will run until September, so you could earn over 25,000 Avios between now and then.

The maths is dependent on your car, of course.  You are allowed the 2p discount on up to 100 litres in one transaction, so a 4×4 owner would make a far bigger saving.  If your car never takes 60 litres at once, however, your Avios won’t be as cheap as the example above.

I have also assumed that you are using an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card which offers 2 Avios (= 2 Amex points) for every £1 you spent at a supermarket in the first year.  You also receive up to 20,000 Avios for signing up!  If you use a less generous card, the maths will be a little less attractive.

Personally, I do not like this promotion (ignoring the Avios-earning side).  It discriminates against people without cars – probably poorer than people with cars.  The bigger and more expensive your car, the more benefit you get – which seems wrong.

It will also encourage people to fill up a couple of jerry cans with petrol and put them in the boot, since you need to buy the 100 litres in one trip to make the saving.  You cannot buy 50 litres one week and another 50 litres another week and get the saving both times.  This is not exactly the safest thing to do.

Full details on Fuel Save can be found here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (74)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • signol says:

    It’s even better with the £7 off a £50 spend coupon I’ve been given the last couple of weeks!

  • callum says:

    Discriminate against people without cars!? That hardly seems fair… Do credit card offers discriminate against those who don’t use credit? Chocolate offers discriminate against diabetics?

    And I’ve yet to see an offer on anything that wasn’t more lucrative the more you spend. Its kinda how offers work! Nor can I see people lining up with jerry cans just so they can save a couple of quid.

    Thanks for the analysis though.

    • Rob says:

      I wrote this in the context of Tesco losing share to Aldi and Lidl and thinking this promo would win those people back.

      • squills says:

        Aldo lol – there speaks a man who doesn’t deign to cross the threshold of the discounters 😉

        You should give them a try, I can’t speak for Aldi as we don’t have one close but Lidl can be brilliant, if you treat it like a continental deli you can find top quality food at discount prices. Obviously the range is limited but the VFM can be superb.

        • Janeyferr says:

          The car park at the Aldi I use is full of BMWs, Audis and late model, fuel efficient cars.

          • N says:

            The car park at our local Lidl is full of people filling up with cooking oil…

        • Rob says:

          I simply don’t have one to visit! My Mrs is German so she is used to discount food retailers!

        • Lady London says:

          My German friend told me a while back that it is quite trendy in Germany for wealthy people to do their shopping at Aldi or Lidl now.

          Getting back On Topic, I received a survey about Tesco Fuelsave just before it was launched. I told them that if I wanted to make these savings I’d already be getting my petrol at Morrisons, and that the only reason I ensure part of my groceries come from Tesco is Clubcard and that if the Clubcard program devalues any further [since the recent booster devaluations] then I won’t bother with Tesco at all.

  • Erico1875 says:

    I think it could Raffles. Most people wont be hitting the gift cards. They will just shift their monthly food shop to Tesco if the petrol deal is perceived to have added value

  • Luke says:

    Ah Norwich have been testing this for about a year. Its works well if you pay @ the pump but not in store at the kiosk (It often will not come up on their screen).

  • needroos says:

    I have gone down this route with the AMEX Gold around London.

    Still have the usual problems. First time I bought 5 and the Fuel Voucher points appeared on the receipt. Customers services went into overdrive saying that Voucher points cannot be earned on gift cards. I dont have a car so I wasnt bothered, but they made me wait 10 minutes to sort this out until they relented that all was good.

    At Canary Wharf I was told day before yesterday that you can only buy 1 on a card and maximum 2 in cash. :/ This was allegedly because of their wish to protect all credit card users. I think perhaps someone had caught on.

    The alternative ofcourse is Morissions where I pleasantly found that I could but as many gift cards as I wanted using the self service till. They also stock plenty. The fuel voucher may come in handy if I can palm it of to friends and family and get something back on the card fees.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Check out how much the Morrison fuel vouchers sell for on eBay – Ive averaged a £70 sale for a £1 per litre voucher

      • needroos says:

        When you buy the 3.95 Visa gift cards at the till do you have to open the barcode and then scan it? When I tried they insisted that I didnt need to and I should scan the barcode on the packet itself. It didnt work.

  • Sideysid says:

    Im currently using up various dated £7 off £70 spend Tesco coupons.

    I buy £100 worth of 3V (plus a few everday litre apple juices -16p at the mo!) use the money off coupon.

    I use my Tesco credit card for the points (as thats the one you’ll need to use for the max cc points on fuel) and pay with the gold Amex.

    Then at the petrol station fill up and use the Tesco credit card for points (which activates the fuel save and gets 1cc point per £) and use the santander 123 credit card to pay (further 3% cash back)

    • Kwab says:

      Very impressive! You definitely seem to have the numbers down to a tee. Carol Vorderman eat your heart out!

      • Blenz101 says:

        If your tesco credit card is on the same account as your regular clubcard there is no need for the card switch in store – you can use the regular c/card at the checkout and the fuel save will still appear on your credit card when used for point in the petrol station

        • Blenz101 says:

          Yes – I understood. I was commenting on “I use my Tesco credit card for the points (as thats the one you’ll need to use for the max cc points on fuel) and pay with the gold Amex.” – there is no need to use the tesco credit card to collect points instore, if you use your regular club card at the checkout the fuel save will still be available against your tesco credit card clubcard when used for points at the petrol station i.e. a linked clubcard account will also link the fuelsave.

  • philipb says:

    Raffles – do you know whether there is any limit to the number of gift cards you can buy at Tesco each month and still qualify for the 150 points per £50 spend?

    • Rob says:

      No limit, except the 30,000 points per quarter cap that Tesco MAY at its discretion impose on your account, removing all points above that. And they DO do this occasionally.

      • philipb says:

        Thanks for clarification. BTW your maths on the (Non-3v) cards is indisputable and 0.59 per Avios point is good value for me as I always use my Avios for First or Club World seats.

  • squills says:

    A couple of things to bear in mind:

    1. You can’t mix months (ie 10p/ litre in month 1 + 10p/ litre in month 2 is not usable as 20p/ litre in month 2. Though you CAN use ‘points savings’ from month 1 in month 2 (at the end of which they expire).
    2. But the ‘points savings are used up in date order. So this means if you (say) accumulate 22p worth of savings (per litre) in month 1, and you fill up once @ the max 20p/ litre rate, then you need to ‘flush through’ the remaining 2p/ litre BEFORE you can get the max 20p saving again in month 2. The big mistake would be to not realise this, do a 60+ litre fill up in month 2, then only get offered 2p/ litre saving instead of your expected 20p/ litre. Do you see what I mean?

    You’d need to first ‘flush through’ the remaining 2p/ litre saving with a minimum purchase of fuel either at the end of month 1 or beginning of month 2. Then you could access the max 20p/ litre saving again.

    3. As noted, you CAN make 20p/ litre savings multiple times in any one month.

    • Rob says:

      Painfully complicated (as I thought when I first looked at it). Which is another reason why it is a bad promotion.

      • squills says:

        And although you can see your fuel savings points online, it’s too early to see if they split it month by month. You’d have to check several times to see if you were in command.

        Eg 25th of month 1, you see you have 25p/ litre, you can fill up with the 20p/ litre saving and know you have to flush through 5p. Provided you don’t buy anything more @ Tesco that month, you should be OK to reset for a 20p/ litre saving on a big tanking in month 2.

        • Fenny says:

          Each month’s savings show separately, with an expiration date of the end of the following month. So March amounts expire at the end of April and have to be used before any savings accrued in April.

          • Polly says:

            V useful information , thank you. That is a pain if you have not filled your tank by beginning of April and have to start shopping again every week! Does that mean you won’t accrue in the new month? Hope folks are fully aware of that. It reads though on the leaflet that the balance is left for further use. Well spotted!

          • Fenny says:

            On my Tesco account page, it shows I’ve currently accrued 9p worth of fuel savings. These are based on how much I’ve spent so far in March and expire on 30 April. (I’ve actually spent £237 so far in March, so another £13 spend would bring it up to 10p of fuel savings).

            You can only use the fuel savers in increments of 2p, so I could wait until the end of March to see whether I hit the 20p max to redeem at any one time. If I think I’m going to exceed 20p, I can fill up, use the 20p/l off, then spend and accrue more before the end of March. If I don’t fill up again in March, the next, say, 2p, will be valid for any petrol I buy in April.

            On 1 April, the count resets, so I start building up April’s savings. But I have to use the 2p left over from March before I can use April’s savings.

            The amount you spend is reset to zero each month, but you can carry over any unused saving to the following month, but expires at the end of that month. It’s a case of timing your petrol purchases to maximise the savings based on your spending!

      • Rob says:

        I agree. It is farcically stupid. I admit that the complexity of Avios etc lets me earn a living, but there is no excuse for making a ‘simple’ fuel discount so complex.

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